Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Solution Focus Coaching

I just spent 2 days at a Solutions Focus Coaching Master Class. I found the approach of Solutions Focus very empowering and complimented what I already knew about GROWTH coaching. The Education Group will be bringing these workshops to NZ next year (as the NZ provider of professional learning and development for Growth Coaching International).
The focus on a strengths based, positive solution focus, rather than dwelling in deficit thinking and problem solving aligns with my personal mantra of projecting positivity and continuous improvement. When I got home I was so inspired I started reading the book! The Solutions Focus is a SIMPLE way of working to allow individual solutions according to what is happening for the individual or within an organisation.  
Solutions not problems
Inbetween: the action is in the interaction
Make use of what's there - not what isn't
Possibilities: past, present and future
Language: simply said
Every case is different

The Solutions tools are: 

  1. Platform - a point for departure
  2. The Future Perfect - the situation without the problem, the way the customer wants it to be
  3. Counters - resources and skills that will count towards getting to the solution
  4. Scale - to measure progress and identify difference
  5. Affirm - recognising positive steps towards solution that are already taking place
  6. Small actions - pivotal steps that take action towards the future perfect, they are specific and concrete
There are 5 conversation expanders that are used during a Solutions Focus coaching conversation:
  1. Non-verbal participation
  2. What else?
  3. First tiny signs (steps)
  4. What difference would that make?
  5. What would person X notice?
I really liked how the experienced coach can "flip" a conversation skilfully if a client shares negative interactions into positive interactions.  I found when participating as the coachee, I was able to think clearer about a current situation that I wanted resolving and left the session with a few small steps to take action.  I also like the focus on what was Better than Before and having a butterfly effect rather than a locust effect. I can also see how a Solutions Focus will help with self review and work around developing a new school charter.

Here is a little taster of what being solution focused is about (vs. problem focused). 

Monday, 18 May 2015

Putting Faces on the Data: What Great Leaders Do!

As a member of NZEALS it was great to be able to go to a seminar day led by Dr. Lyn Sharrat on Putting Faces on the Data.  Dr. Lyn Sharrat is a high calibre educator from Ontario who works closely with Michael Fullan (who I really respect the work of).  Their book Putting the Faces on the Data and subsequent seminar today was affirming with the practices that we use at our school to ensure that all students are making progress.  Dr. Lyn Sharrat overheard me sharing our practices and asked for me to share with the whole audience - so this was very positive and reassuring.

Our group wondered whether there was an acronym for FACES and we came up with: Facing Achievement Changes Every Student or as Dr Lyn Sharrat said, although she hasn't ever thought of an acronym it is about Front And Centre Every Student - being at the heart of all learning organisations.

I was one of the few people tweeting the learning from today (below are some of the tweets, collated into a Storify) - I also look forward to reading the book.